Former PMs: President Aoun Should Be Charged With Negligence For Beirut Blast

Nabil Ismail | TDS/Mohamad Azakir

Responding to the recent charges against caretaker Prime Minister Hassan Diab, Lebanon’s former prime ministers issued a joint statement on Monday evening in which they said that the same action should apply to President Michel Aoun.

Saad Hariri, Najib Mikati, Fouad Siniora, and Tammam Salam argued that the method of summoning Diab was unconstitutional.

This echoed similar remarks made earlier in the day by Amal Movement, a party led by Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri.

In their statement, the premiers said if Judge Fadi Sawan wants to take this process, then it should also apply to Lebanon’s president for the same reasons: “reluctance to prevent the danger before it occurred.”

Aoun himself admitted to knowing about the ammonium nitrate at the port before it exploded. It “is completely identical to what is attributed to the Prime Minister and the ministers,” the group of former premiers said.

Diab and three former ministers, Ghazi Zaiter, Ali Hassan Khalil, and Youssef Fenianos, were charged with negligence that led to deaths, injuries, and devastation.

It is worth noting that the ammonium nitrate was improperly stored at the port for at least six years after arriving in Beirut on an unscheduled stop while on its way to Mozambique.

Consequently, the former premiers are also at risk of being indicted, along with those who were in charge during that 6-year period.

It is evident that Lebanon now has a new crisis to add to the compounded ones, a judicial crisis, also created by the leaders of this country like the current crippling ones.

In fact, the defiance includes the minister of interior Fahmy who issued that he won’t implement that judicial decision and that Judge Sawan can pursue him if he wants.